Face Off: Brian Gavin Blue vs. Hearts & Arrows

“Hello Todd, I just got done reading your article for the 3rd time about a Brian Gavin Blue diamond you reviewed for a gentleman back in August. I am very enlightened by your analysis and have tried to since replicate your analytic skills in my search for my future fiancee’s (hopefully) engagement diamond. I have my eye on two Brain Gavin diamonds and am currently in contact with them to make a custom ring using rose gold as you coincidentally mentioned in your September “Think Pink” article.”

“The two diamonds I’m looking at look very close to the one you endorsed for the gentleman back in August. I’m not looking at these particular ones based solely on your previous analysis, but also because they fit in my budget and appear to offer the most for the money. I’m also wondering about the fluorescent difference between these diamonds and why some have it and others don’t, and how that affects the price and why. Please let me know what you think. I really appreciate your time and sharing of your knowledge. The two diamonds I’m primarily looking at are this 0.827 carat, J, VS-1 Brian Gavin Blue Signature Diamond and this 0.806 carat, J, VS-1 Brian Gavin Signature Hearts & Arrows Diamond [inquiry edited to describe diamonds and provide links]. — C.W.

Thanks for your inquiry C.W., the two diamonds which you selected from Brian Gavin Diamonds are both excellent options.  I am quite familiar with Brian Gavin’s production and am confident that either diamond would make your fiance very happy. However, I’m leaning towards the 0.827 carat, J color, VS-1 clarity diamond with the very strong blue fluorescence simply because it is cut a little tighter than the 0.806 carat, J, VS-1.

If you look at the proportions for the two diamonds and specifically the offset for the crown and pavilion angle, they both have a crown angle of 34.8 degrees offset by a pavilion angle of 40.8 degrees which is going to produce an exceptional amount of light return because the angle of the two primary reflective surfaces for the diamond are in the right range.

Now where things get tricky is in the slight difference in the total depth between the two diamonds, the total depth of the 0.806 carat, J, VS-1 is stated as 62.0% on the Diamond Quality Document (DQD) from the AGS Laboratory and the total depth for the 0.827 carat, J, VS-1 is stated as being 61.5% on the DQD for that diamond… and that difference results in the outside diameter of the diamonds being different (5.95 – 5.99 mm vs. 6.04 – 6.06 mm) which is a very slight difference, but enough of a difference that I’d be able to distinguish between the two diamonds if I were looking at them side-by-side on a diamond sorting tray.

The fact of the matter is I truly prefer that the total depth of round brilliant cut diamonds be between 59 – 61.8% because it tends to maximize the outside diameter potential of the diamond and provide more visible surface area, which makes since diamonds are sold by carat weight and you might as well get the most visible surface for your money (all other factors being equal).

So what about the very strong blue fluorescence? If this were a diamond in the D-F colorless range, I’d be inclined to shy away from it since it might detract from the body color of the diamond; however in diamonds which are J color and warmer I find that strong to very strong blue fluorescence most often has the effect of making the diamond face up a little whiter than it actually is… so the very strong blue fluorescence should be a visual benefit for the diamond.

And I’m also rather fond of diamonds which exhibit blue fluorescence, I like the way the diamond will pop with a beautiful neon blue color when the diamond is exposed to black light and the way that I’m able to sometimes detect a slight hint of lavender blue in the diamond when I view it outside in direct sunlight from a side profile (you kind of have to know what you’re looking for, but it’s very cool).

Fluorescence within diamonds is caused by the presence of the mineral boron during the formation of the diamond crystal… the reason why some diamonds have it and other diamonds do not is due to the mineral boron being present or not present during the time the diamond crystal was formed.  While blue is the most common color of fluorescence, it can also appear as white, yellow, green, orange and red.  I tend to avoid diamonds with yellow fluorescence since it certainly isn’t going to help the body color of the diamond in terms of lifting it a color grade or two.  I’ve never seen the effect of green, orange or red fluorescence upon a diamond, however, I do know that diamonds which exhibit those colors of fluorescence tend to fetch a premium in the market because they are considered to be quite rare.

Round brilliant ideal cut diamonds with blue, white and yellow fluorescence tend to cost less than comparable diamonds which do not contain fluorescence during this moment in time.  The reason for this is because the majority of round brilliant ideal cut diamonds are produced for the Asian diamond markets which tend to prefer diamonds without fluorescence… thus diamond rough which exhibits fluorescence is considered to be less desirable and costs less…

I consider the price difference between ideal cut diamonds with blue fluorescence and without to be a bonus of sorts for those of us who live in the United States and appreciate the beauty of blue fluorescence within a diamond!  In this particular instance, you save about $540.00 by purchasing the 0.827 carat, J color, VS-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Blue Signature Ideal Cut Diamond over the 0.806 carat, J color, VS-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature Hearts & Arrows Diamond and pick up a diamond which is going to look just a little larger.  I call that a Win / Win !!!

I’d love to see a picture of this diamond set in the Rose Gold setting from Brian Gavin Diamonds… please let me know how it turns out and which diamond you end up selecting.

About the Author Todd Gray

Todd Gray is a professional diamond buyer with 30+ years of trade experience. He loves to teach people how to buy diamonds that exhibit incredible light performance! In addition to writing for Nice Ice, Todd "ghost writes" blogs and educational content for other diamond sites. When Todd isn't chained to a desk, or consulting for the trade, he enjoys Freediving! (that's like scuba diving, but without air tanks)

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